10 Tips to Getting the Best Deal on Car Insurance

We need it, we must have it, but we don’t love searching for the best car insurance. It can be a true pain in the neck getting quotes from insurance company after insurance company. A ton of questions, applications, and even credit checks to just get a disappointingly high rate quoted to you. There’s got to be a better way to get the coverage and features that will make you feel satisfied at the end of the day. Well there is a better way; begin your insurance search with the knowledge and tools that will open the door to the lowest quote you can receive.

There are several factors insurance companies look at to determine your insurance premium. Following are some the factors they consider:

·     Driving Record – Driving violations and accidents will raise your risk as a driver and increase your insurance costs. Depending on your state, violations and accidents will stay on your driving record for a certain number of years before being removed.

·     Where you live – Insurance companies look at the area you live in and whether it is rural or in a city. Cities have more claims made and are considered a higher risk.

·     Gender & Age – Whether you are a male or female does matter; men have more accidents than women and by simply being a man your rate will raise. In addition, certain age groups (normally those under 25) have more accidents and are considered more of a risk than others.

·     Marital Status – Single drivers are considered a higher risk than married drivers and receive higher quotes.

·     Make/Model/Year of Vehicle – The make, model and year help determine the rate for multiple reasons. Newer cars tend to cost more than older cars, unless it is a rare or antique car. It is all based on how much it would ultimately cost to either repair or replace the vehicle. In addition, sports cars will cost more to insure than a mini-van due to the perceived safety of the vehicle model.

·     Prior Insurance Coverage – Insurance companies consider your prior coverage when quoting. If you allowed your prior coverage to lapse they increase your quote.

·     Vehicle Use – It makes a difference to insurance companies whether you use your vehicle for business or personal use. Business use, including driving back and forth to work or school, results in a higher rate quote.

There are many different ways to get the best rates in the automobile insurance hunt. Don’t get frustrated if you get a couple of high quotes, each company is different and there is sure to be a company that will give you a decent rate if you follow these tips:

1. Shop Around

When shopping for coverage don’t just settle for the first quote you receive, or even the second or third. Getting a recommendation from a friend or family member is great, but just because they receive a good rate from a company doesn’t necessarily mean you will too. Because insurance company rates differ greatly from company to company, you could end up paying a lot more if you don’t take the time to compare rates.

There are many websites that offer comparisons of online quotes. They will show you several different insurance quotes based upon the information you provide. This can be quite helpful by comparing the rates of many insurance companies. But be aware that these sites may be fueled by promotional purposes and may not include the lowest rates due to not being in business with all the available insurance companies. It’s a good idea to do your own research as to who the insurance companies are that are licensed to do business in your state and area.

A good tool to get an idea of the lowest priced insurance carriers is to check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Their site offers a map that connects you to each state’s Department of Insurance websites. The Dept. of Insurance websites will offer a comparison of rates from that state’s insurance carriers. In addition, any complaints or violations will be logged by the state and will be publicly listed.

2. Check for Discounts

These days, the majority of insurance companies, and most certainly the large ones, offer driver discounts. These discounts can make the difference when you choose you carrier, and can save you a lot of money. The following are some of the discounts that Insurance companies offer:

·      Insure multiple cars

·      Clean driving record

·      Members of affinity groups

·      Anti-theft and safety equipment

·      Recent safety or driving courses taken

·      Drive safely

·      Going paperless

·      Automatic payments

One of the most popular discounts that most major insurance companies give is an on-time payment discount. Make sure to make all your installment payments on time if you pay in installments. You will notice that some companies also offer a discount if you pay the whole policy premium in one payment as well.

3. Choose The Deductible

When choosing your options for your car insurance you will be able to choose how high, or low, your deductible will be. Typically, deductibles start as low as $250 and can go as high as a couple of thousand dollars. Remember, this will be the amount you pay when you need repairs on your vehicles, so pick an amount you can afford if there is a need.

The lower your deductible, the higher your insurance premium will be however, if you raise the deductible you can lower your premium. A study done by Nerd Wallet showed that increasing your deductible from $250 to $1000 can cut your premium by as much as 40%. But, if you do so, it is a good idea to set aside some savings to be able to cover the higher deductible in case of an accident.

4.  Monitor your Credit Score

Many large insurance companies factor your credit score into your rate premium. Not all states allow this practice, but most do, so it’s a good idea to maintain your credit score. A bad score can raise your premium by as much as 50%. You will notice that insurance applications ask you to rate your credit score, but if they don’t check your score right then, they may raise your rate with your first bill to adjust for incorrect application information.

Work on repairing your credit if you have bad or fair credit. It is reported that if you raise your credit score by at least one tier you may save up to 17% off your annual premium. You are entitled to a free credit report every year.

5. Bundle your Services

There are many companies that offer several different products, such: Life Insurance, Renters Insurance, or Home Owner’s Insurance. These companies will offer a “bundle” or “package” deal if you use their company to insure multiple products.

Huge companies like Progressive and GEICO have fantastic bundle packages for a whole range of products from Home Insurance to ATV and Renter’s insurance. These bundles will give a package discount for combining several of their products together. You can save an average of $110 if you bundle with home insurance or about $72 a year if you bundle with renter’s insurance.

6. Lower Coverages

Insurance is required in all states, but each state has their own minimum coverage requirements. Make sure and check what your state insurance requirements are. Many states only require what is called “liability” coverage. Liability coverage will, in the case of an accident you cause, cover the opposite party’s expenses. All injuries, repairs and costs for yourself, however, will not be covered. This ensures that accident victim’s expenses and medical needs will be covered.

You may have collision coverage as well. This type of coverage will include liability as well, but also covers the cost of repairing your own vehicle as well. Another level of coverage you may have is called comprehensive coverage. This coverage includes liability, and collision, but also covers loss due to weather, vandalism, animal accidents and theft. You will most probably be able to adjust the amounts of coverage and deductible as well. There are companies that also offer add-on services, such as: towing, lodging, rental car, etc. for additional costs. Double check your policy, if you do have these then you can opt out of these services and save some money as well.

So, if your coverage includes not only liability, but also collision and/or comprehensive, then you may consider lowering your coverage. This is a good way to lower your rate, especially if you have an older car. A good rule to follow is if your car is worth less than ten times your insurance premium, having collision/comprehensive isn’t worth it. But if you are still paying on your vehicle be aware that most loan companies require you to have collision while still paying on the loan.

7. Usage-based/Pay-per-mile Insurance

Several major insurance companies offer new programs that track your driving and give discounts based on several factors. Progressive’s Snapshot program is one of the most well-known of these programs. Typically, the company will send you a small plug-in device to install in your car. This device automatically transmits your usage to your insurance company.

There are also pay-per-mile insurance programs, like Metro Mile, that offers coverage if you drive less than 10,000 miles per year. This type of coverage isn’t available in every state though. Currently it’s available in only seven states (California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania Virginia and Washington). The company uses a plug-in device that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port to monitor the car’s mileage.

 Another company, Esurance Pay Per Mile, is only available in Oregon. This insurance coverage is available for those who drive less than 10,000 per year. There is a base cost for the policy and then an added cost per mile (generally a few cents). The company sends a plug-in unit to be plugged into your OBD-II port.

8. Don’t pay in Installments

When you receive an insurance quote and get ready to purchase, you will notice that they will give you several options. These options may be a choice to pay the premium in one payment, two payments, or installments. Many people may not have the money to pay for the whole year and installments just make it easier. Unfortunately, while it’s easier to pay smaller amounts it can end up costing you more in the long run.

Many insurance companies charge a transaction fee per installment payment. Fees vary, but can add up. If you are able to pay the total premium in one or two payments the more money you will save. On average, you can save about $62 per year.

9. Avoid Lapses in Coverage

On auto insurance applications you will notice they will ask you if you currently have insurance, and with what company. If you don’t currently have insurance coverage, they may ask you how long you haven’t had it. This information is used to determine risk and will factor into your rate quote.

It is best to not allow your coverage lapse, as lapses in coverage will raise your premium. Some insurance company rates can drop by about 7% after one year of continuous coverage. If you decide to change insurance companies, make sure not to cancel your coverage until your new coverage begins. It is said that if you start shopping for insurance a couple weeks before you cancel your current insurance you will save money on your new quote.

10. Check rates when purchasing a new vehicle

In the excitement of getting your new dream car it’s not any fun to worry about insurance costs, but it’s a practice that can save you money. Newer, more expensive cars will cost more in insurance, as they are more expensive to repair or replace. Insurance companies will also raise the rate if the car is a popular car amongst car thieves. For example, SUVs tend to have high theft rates, driving their insurance premiums up, while having a vehicle with built-in anti-theft features can reduce your premium.

It’s also important to consider the safety of the vehicle you are considering. Insurance companies take into consideration national injury statistics for vehicles. The Highway Loss Data Institute(HLDI) releases information regarding injury claims per vehicle type. The HLDI reports that the lowest amount of injury claims is from larger vehicles.

We, at Eden Autos, hope these 10 tips help you better navigate through the grueling process of getting the best insurance rates for your vehicle. If we can help you in any way with this, or any other vehicle matter, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, or simply drop by any time. Our vehicle inventory is quite extensive, and our friendly staff will gladly help you find the car or truck that meets your needs and financing budget.